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Scaffolding has been erected on the world-famous Ribblehead Viaduct in North Yorkshire as major restoration work gets underway.
£2.1million is being spent to repair the 144-year-old Grade II listed structure as part of the Great North Rail Project.
In April Network Rail came forward with a plan to re-point eroded mortar joints and replace broken stones on the 24-arch, 400-metre-long, 32-metre-high structure. Following months of preparation, work has begun.
Jim Munday from Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said:
If you asked anyone in England to picture a train on a viaduct, they’d probably think of Ribblehead Viaduct. It is a star attraction for our area, although it is but one of many superb Victorian viaducts in the Yorkshire Dales National Park; Smardale Gill Viaduct is probably in the same league and then there is Arten Gill and Dent Head
He added: "We’re so pleased Network Rail is investing significantly in Ribblehead Viaduct and carrying out the first major repairs since the 1990s.
"This was a massive application for listed building consent to deal with and I’m thankful that we’ve been able to draw on internal and external expertise to get it just right."
Ribblehead Viaduct has got to be one of the crown jewels of Victorian civil engineering.
Phil James, North West route director at Network Rail, said: "It’s a privilege to look after so many significant buildings and structures across the rail network, but Ribblehead Viaduct has got to be one of the crown jewels of Victorian civil engineering.
"We know the structure is incredibly important both locally and internationally, and we want to give it the care and attention that it deserves so it can be enjoyed by future generations of passengers and sightseers."
Work on the viaduct, which is on the Settle to Carlisle route, is expected to finish next February.